Photo courtsey Restaurant Martin
Santa Fe is a place unlike any other, from a world-class flamenco scene and luxurious hotels and fine-dining restaurants to a denim-friendly opera house.
Chef Martin Rios has climbed the ladder of Santa Fe's culinary scene for nearly three decades, making him a sentimental favorite for residents. But his progressive American cuisine has the bona fides to match his hometown appeal: He's been a finalist multiple times for the James Beard Foundation award for Best Chef: Southwest.
Blue Heron Restaurant
A longtime figurehead of Santa Fe cuisine and a local-food champion, Rocky Durham took over Sunrise Springs Spa Resorts' kitchen last year, dishing out healthy and satisfying fare.
Born and raised on the France-Italy border, Chef Charles Dale holds both cuisines dear to his heart. After an impressive career that included successful openings in New York, Aspen, and Santa Fe (as well as accolades from the likes of Food & Wine, the James Beard Foundation, and Zagat) he opened Bouche French bistro in Santa Fe to similar acclaim.
Hervé Wine Bar
After running the Domaine de Perignon winery in Burgundy, France, Hervé Lescombes planted his first vines in southern New Mexico in 1981. Since then, the family has been crushing the wine industry with award-winning labels under the Lescombes Family Vineyards umbrella. Sons Florent and Emmanuel now helm the business and opened this Santa Fe wine bar in their father's honor in May 2018 to serve food alongside sips of the D.H. Lescombes wines.
Ensconced in the monastic-inspired St. Francis Hotel, Secreto Lounge is known for its garden-to-glass cocktails made with fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs.
SITE Santa Fe
Although it's known for a renowned international biennial, this contemporary art hub is always home to mind-bending artworks. In 2017, the organization opened a 10,000-square-foot expansion and renovation to mark its 20th anniversary. Beyond its stately prow façade, you'll find exhibition spaces, an experimental exhibition gallery, and an expanded store, which now features works SITE has commissioned.
Museum of Contemporary Native Arts
Neighboring the Plaza, this extension of the Institute of American Indian Art has mentored notable Native American artists from Kevin Red Star to New Mexico's own Roxanne Swentzell and is considered a top organizer of diverse Native artworks in North America. Exhibitions feature student and alumni art, along with works by many other contemporary artists.
Georgia O'Keeffe Museum
This museum celebrates the life, legacy, and art of the mother of American modernism — Georgia O'Keeffe — who lived and painted in the desert near Abiquiú from 1929 until her death in 1986. You'll find her iconic large-format flower, skull, and landscape paintings, as well as lesser-known works.
Lensic Performing Arts Center
A glamorously restored 1931 vaudeville venue, the Lensic hosts performing arts events some 200 nights a year, from NEA Jazz Master concerts during the New Mexico Jazz Festival to aerial shows by Wise Fool, Santa Fe's resident professional circus and high-flying social justice group.
El Rancho de Las Golondrinas
The East Coast has Colonial Williamsburg, and Santa Fe has this living history museum set on 200 acres in a rural farming valley south of Santa Fe. The site preserves the heritage and culture of the 18th and 19th centuries and also includes several historic buildings from northern New Mexico that have been relocated here for safekeeping. Check the schedule for seasonal festivals, from a Renaissance fair to Spanish Colonial heritage events.
Did You Know?
Santa Fe is an overachiever when it comes to the performing arts. The Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra & Chorus marked its 35th anniversary during the 2018–19 season with professional local musicians and award-winning visiting soloists. Since 1937, Performance Santa Fe has brought world-class music, dance, and theater to the city. The Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival hosts top classical musicians from around the globe during its July to August run. Each summer, locals flock to the Plaza a couple nights a week for Santa Fe Bandstand, a free concert series with acts from bluegrass to salsa. Throughout the year, venues like Second Street Brewery give local acts the mic. www.santafesymphony.org, www.performancesantafe.org, www.santafechambermusic.com, www.secondstreetbrewery.com